Groupe DANONE is to launch a buyback offer for outstanding shares of Mecaniver, listed in Brussels, in which it already holds 89% of equity. Mecaniver is a holding company whose main interests include a 65% interest in Groupe DANONE's North American activities in fresh dairy products, through Dannon Co. and bottled water produced in North America by Dannon Water and McKesson.

The offer values the 11% interest in Mecaniver at EUR 123 million or EUR 631 per share. It will allow minority shareholders to sell their shares at satisfactory terms at a time when liquidity in Mecaniver shares is limited.

For Groupe DANONE, the move will simplify management structures while strengthening interest in a geographical region offering high growth potential.